FanPost

Squad Assessment: The Chelsea Indispensability Index (now with 100% more poll!)

Hazard-mata-oscar-soccer-zuma_mediumThere once was a lad named ChelseaRDM, who at great personal cost endeavored to classify all who wore the glorious royal blue based on their merit. He went into the archives and dusted up the Paulo Ferreiras and shined the heck out of the Ross Turnbulls, and came to realize that this task was too great to undertake alone. His trumpet rang out among the hills of Twitterania, and it's call was answered by one Wheaties Eater, a comrade in arms.

And so it came to pass that the lad and his companion compiled the list you see before you today. They hoped that it would guide the ruling power of the day, the Roman Centurion, Abramovictus. It is for this legend that it has come to be known as THE EMPEROR'S TAPESTRY... or something like that.

With summer shortly upon us, it's now time to assess the value of the players that may or may not be making healthy contributions to the club next season. Below you’ll find the combined work of ChelseaRDM and Wheaties Eater, grading Chelsea's current squad, plus a few loanees, on a scale (loosely based on one from Bavarian Football Works) ranging from most dispensable "On their way/Need to go" to most vital "Absolutely Indispensable" as you can see from this scale:

  • On their way/Need to go
  • Possibly Relevant/Valuable (or One for the Future)
  • Necessary Depth (or Necessary Evil)
  • Valuable Squad Member
  • Key Player
  • Absolutely Indispensable

The Index is forward-looking, so naturally the younger players will be weighted higher. For the most part, CRDM makes sense, and Wheaties makes a complete fool of himself, per usual. Please excuse the formatting issues, collaborating outside of a post is more difficult than one might think. The ranking was also tricky, as it required ordering the 36 based on each of our opinions about their long-term value. I think it not only reflects a prioritization of youth, but also a preference for need areas. For example, you'll see goalkeepers and fullbacks with typically lower rankings than midfielders and strikers due to the wealth of young talent at fullback* and the talent of our top two keepers. So here it is, from two of our favorite minds. Please enjoy.

*i.e. Kalas, Omeruo, and Wallace being available lowers the value of each, since another could conceivably step in for them.


36. Florent Malouda

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Most recent FloMo sighting on WAGNH

ChelseaRDM: Flourent Malouda has been relatively useless for about a year and a half. Maybe that's a bit harsh; let's just say that over the past 2 years or so, he's been 'ineffective' and 'inconsistent' as euphemisms. His 5 goals in all competitions last year is not a particularly glittery stat, but he did help Chelsea to win their first Champions League trophy in their history, and for that we must all be thankful. However, I think we can all agree that he's past his prime, and that he'll never be the guy that inspired us to the famous 09/10 double under Ancelotti, where he scored 16 and assisted 15. He's definitely on his way, though. (CRDM wanted to commemorate his memory here with a video, but it didn't make the transposition. Sorry!)

Classification: On their way/Need to go

Wheaties: Part of me wants to believe that Mou can turn Malou around (or maybe into Kalou?). The other part of me knows that is the stupidest thing that part of me has ever said. Unfortunately, the other part of me is right; FloMo has seen the sun set on his prime playing days, and then some. I won’t waste more post space on what we all know is inevitable.

Classification: On their way/Need to go

35. Henrique Hilario

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ChelseaRDM: He's never really been a particularly great keeper - or a particularly mediocre one for that matter - but he's handled his fringe role at the club admirably, even though he's only played in 20 premier league matches since we acquired him in 2006.

Classification: On their way/Need to go

Wheaties: I can only applaud his ability to stick around this long without contributing anything other than B roll footage and well worn costumes at birthday parties. Way to show your age with that Top Gun reference. You look more like Viper and less like Maverick everyday. Heck Tom Cruise is fifty and he looks younger than you! Hate to sound like a broken record, but you probably haven’t transitioned to 8-tracks yet, so... *drops mic on stage*

Classification: On their way/Need to go

34. Ross Turnbull

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ChelseaRDM: Turnbull hasn't had a really great time since coming to Chelsea as a backup to Cech, barely featuring in 7 league games if my stats are to be trusted. He's not a very bad keeper, though, but he'll undoubtedly want a change in scenery to somewhere that he isn't a 28 year-old back up keeper, potentially even to a guy that's 21.

Classification: On their Way/Need to Go

Wheaties: I couldn’t be more in accordance with CRDM on this one. Turnbull has not been an effective backup, and unless he’s some secret miracle morale booster in the dressing room... no, even if that’s supposedly his contribution, he’s been failing lately, so he needs to bounce. A legitimate backup keeper should replace him if Courtois goes back out on loan, because right now, I’m not convinced he’s a better option than Jamal Blackman.

Classification: Get gone, fool! On their Way/Need to Go

33. Yossi Benayoun

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ChelseaRDM: It’s my opinion that Yossi has gotten a pretty bad reception since he’s arrived here at Chelsea. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a good player in any sense of the word. He’s proven to be minimally useful since he arrived from Liverpool (Pause for laughter) in 2009, and his lack of involvement even in the Israeli team recently (usually residing on the subs bench) gives you a great idea of how good he is. He don’t deserve dem’ boos, though. 5.5m is puppy change, and he seems pleasant.

Classification: Kindly leave - On their way/ Need to go.

Wheaties: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Wait... wait... let me catch my breath... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHobo. Ugh, now that I’ve read CRDM’s opinion, I have to take this seriously. Benayoun was a cog in the Ancellotti machine. He made sense for that moment, but has subsequently lost all value for our team. I agree with the above: no booing, just shooing. Save the boos for the biters. But still, you can’t tell me you aren’t screaming in your head (or out loud) every time you’ve seen the above image.

Classification: On Their Way/ Need to Go

32. Fernando Torres

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ChelseaRDM: Fernando is a funny character. Sometimes, he looks like a confused baby elephant when trying to dribble defenders and perform skill-moves. Other times, he seems to be the player that we payed the big bucks for, scoring goals from unlikely angles and showing pace to beat defenders. He's a master of trickery - when it comes to elevating the fans' hopes to unjustified levels. Even though he's been indistinguishable from a piece of turd over the past couple years for the majority of the time, I still foolishly retain some hope for Torres. Though we're probably stuck with him, he's not the worst thing in the world, scoring twice in his most recent match against a reasonably good team. His behavior and the majority of his interviews may be irritating in the highest degree, but he's alright.

Classification: Possibly Valuable

Wheaties: Ah, Torres/Zorres. Writing this a few weeks before the ends of the season, I feel confident that his final handful of performances will not be enough to disprove this statement: Fernando Torres is the most overpaid player at Chelsea FC, arguably in the Premier League. Athough his words off the pitch have demonstrated an attitude of accountability and determination more often than disgruntled and frustrated, his work rate on the pitch is less than consistent and his reactions to adversity have been an embarrassment. Since CRDM has taken all the good imagery, I’ll simply say one more thing. If you shipwrecked on the island from Lost, went insane from thirst, and became so malnourished you couldn’t stand, BUT you had one measly copper penny in the pocket of your shredded trousers... you’d be more valuable than Fernando Torres. Dead weight brings us down. We must rise.

Classification: On their way/Need to go

31. Jeffrey Bruma

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ChelseaRDM: Simply put, he’s got no business being compared to our top prospects. He’ll probably never be Chelsea caliber (Seemingly, he’s not even HSV caliber at the moment). He’s an okay player, but it would be in Chelsea’s best interest to sell him in the near future to the highest bidder.

Classification: On their way/ Need to go.


Wheaties: This Bruma should be left in the Bruma-closet. I know some of the members of this site (writers included), feel that Bruma could have added valuable depth this year. Given that we were relatively short at the position, that may very well have been true. With Omeruo, Kalas, Chalobah, and Aké as further options, I have to admit I find myself putting our Dutch elder below even Aké. I’ve seen him play very little this season, but what I have seen has led me to believe that his value won’t be increasing dramatically anytime soon (or probably ever). This is a very crucial role for the club going forward, especially since we’re clearly seeking to develop a more attacking, high-line style. A lumbering, hesitant CB like Bruma is not going to be a key player in the future, and I’d like to see Chelsea cash in on him while he still has some value. That being said, if we go without a new purchase and send the above alternatives out on loan, he may just be needed to spell our center halves or fill in if/when an injury happens.


Classification: possibly Necessary Evil, but hopefully On their Way

30. Paulo Ferreira

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ChelseaRDM: He's been a serviceable player during his tenure here at Chelsea, serving well when he was first choice in the Mourinho era, while accepting a bench role late in his career. Contributing more goals than Mikel to Chelsea (2), he will be missed. I wish the best for Ferreira and his luscious hair.

Classification: On their Way/Need to go

Wheaties: How we will all miss the club’s favorite mascot when he’s gone. Like Jose Bosingwa before him, the long overdue fading of his memory will likely be quick. I hate to lump those two together, as Bosingwa took a great deal of the sparkle out of the trophy lift in Munich last year. I had always envisioned it as Lampard and Terry hoisting it together, Cech in behind, grinning goofily, Drogba right there, dancing furiously. Instead, I got this (LINKY LINK). Ugh. Paulo Ferreira always knew his place, and loved every minute he could make a contribution; for that he has my respect. My hope is that you remember him always as you see him above: with a photoshopped mustache.

Classification: On their Way/Need to Go

29. Marko Marin

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I chose this picture to remind us that although he’s struggled in Blue, the 24 year-old has already seen 16 caps for the mighty German national team. Ahead of the 2012 Euros, manager Joachim Löwe described him as a player that can win games by himself.

ChelseaRDM: Who the f*ck is this guy?

Classification: On their way/ Need to go

Wheaties: See: Yossi Benayoun. In all seriousness, it’s totally possible that the Deutsche Messi is resurrected in the coming year. He’s still young enough to be somewhat indeterminate, and he has shown magnificent talent in the past. Should he see more time on the pitch, enough to shake off the rust, he just might become part of our well-oiled machine. The intensity and duration of our schedule has shown a need for depth, and if we don’t sign Schurrles and bring back De Bruynes, he’ll be necessary depth. Otherwise, he’s just...

Classification: Possibly Relevant

28. John Obi Mikel

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ChelseaRDM: "This guy only passes sideways" is what some Chelsea fans ignorant of the revelation that is WAGNH might say to you. That certainly isn’t the case. He isn’t, however, exactly a creative bomb in midfield either, though. I’m thoroughly underwhelmed by his play for Chelsea, especially when compared with the passion and the ability that he displays when playing for his country. I’m not sure whether the gulf between his N.T performances and club performances has to do with opponent quality or the players around him, but I’m just not feeling it, especially when we have Chalobah coming through the ranks. Indeed, he’s a cool guy, and I’ve been looking at his game under intense scrutiny but he just strikes me as mediocre. He can still play a good role for the club, though.

Classification: Necessary Depth

Wheaties: I love Mikel. I love his attitude and I love the way that no matter who comes and who goes, he stays relatively happy and pleased with the club. It broke my heart to see Kalounho go last summer, and in part because of the awesome bromance that he had developed with our dear Joby. Mikel has developed quite a bit since we stole the teenaged Nigerian midfelder from Manchester United (remember that?). However, I feel comfortable saying that at 26, he’s not going to become a player more coveted by the top clubs than he was then. Mikel is a giver, and he has lots left to give the team, but he’s not a Makelele type, one that the club can build around. For more on my rationale, see the Romeu section.

Classification: Necessary Depth

27. Michael Essien

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ChelseaRDM: Formerly the greatest midfielder on the planet, Michael Essien was unlucky enough to be injured, bringing a halt to his world dominance. Former player of the year in 2007, Essien has been worth his weight in gold, even if he hasn't been his best for some time. His transfer fee of 26m pounds was immense at the time, but the former Lyon player simply had a physical presence of mythical proportions; a man that wouldn't relent, marshaling the midfield area like no other before him or since his injury. He's currently on loan with one of the best clubs in the world, who ironically have a better midfield than Chelsea has by some bit. He's been reasonable since joining them on D-Day, but his play recently has inspired a few fans into thinking that he could be useful on his return to the bridge. I'm hopeful, but I'm very skeptical. Enjoy his wonderful left-footed volley against Barcelona in the 2009 CL semi-final:

Classification: Possibly Valuable

Wheaties: I have very little to add to CRDM’s thoughts. The truth is, while the Bison is an expensive, fragile shadow of his former self, he could still provide much-needed depth at a position in which the club has put itself in a dismal situation. That and the possible return of Mourinho to the club, under whom Essien has had something of a revival, means the Ghanaian is...

Classification: Possibly Relevant

26. Patrick Van Aanholt

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ChelseaRDM: I know not of this guy. Some say he’s better than Bertrand. Others (a guy on a random site) say that he’s utter garbage. I don’t know whether the Aanholt supporters are playing some cruel game with me, or if he’s really a great left back with the untapped potential of the other 22 year olds. I sure hope he’s that other thing. For now, I’ll have to completely suspend my judgment on this one.

Classification: I simply do not know

Wheaties: I read the youth reports, so, like you, I know that this blog’s writers are very fond of PVA and his performances. I’m more than willing to take their word that he is an excellent left back with lots to offer for the future. With us set at that position in the short term, PVA belongs back out on loan. I’d like to see him involved with an EPL team at this point.

Classification: Potentially Relevant

25. Gael Kakuta

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ChelseaRDM: Currently on loan at Vitesse - Chelsea's unofficial 'B' club - Kakuta is a very good prospect, though I can't see him ever being part of Chelsea's team. I've looked at him play, especially when he was being hyped a few years ago as a potentially great player that could penetrate Chelsea's first team, but I haven't been too impressed by the diminutive Frenchman. At his current club, he's been fairly impressive, though, creating 5 assists for his teammates and scoring a goal in his 1400 minutes. He's a potentially good player, but never a great one. He is still only 21, though, and I'd love to be proven wrong about his long-term prospects with my beloved Chelsea.

Classification: Possibly Valuable

Wheaties: Is it too early to say class is permanent, form is temporary? Kakuta has made strides this year, coming back around to being the player that had once yielded very high expectations. I don’t think anyone at Chelsea now sees him as a future talent rivaling the likes of Eden Hazard or Juan Mata, but I feel comfortable saying I’d rather be bringing on Gael from the bench than Marko or Yossi. Again, the value of his potential contribution is contingent on the presence/absence of Piazon, Hazard,* and/or De Bruyne.

Classification: Possibly Valuable

*The younger variety.

24. John TerryArsenal_v_chelsea_-_premier_league_medium

I don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, but I do know that there’s no one on Earth that loves Chelsea Football Club more than this man, despite all that it’s brought him. For that, he has my respect.

ChelseaRDM: This guy is the reason most of the people reading this article are Chelsea fans - He’s Chelsea’s Captain. He’s also Chelsea’s Leader. But most of all, and you might have heard this before, he’s a legend. I still think he’s up to it, at only 31 years old, but given the club’s recent apparent absurdity regarding the old guard (which I agree with), he might now be around for any longer. He’s an excellent defender for his age, though, even if he can’t keep a high line or run 100m any faster than Benayoun. I’m feeling generous today, so I’m going to say that he’s still valuable to the club. I don’t really like him, though.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

Wheaties: Hmmm... my heart is so conflicted, and my mind is of little assistance. Next season, Terry may be back to his usual lion-hearted, armband-toting, fear-inspiring self. On the other hand, this season may merely have been a taste of the bitterness that is to come. Optimistically, he’ll be used when needed, and the center backs will be rotated religiously, keeping JT healthy and spry enough to command in big matches or conquer against poor opposition. I wouldn’t put money on him seeing the year through without injury, though, and at his age, that might just be the final straw that breaks the Rafa Benitez’s back. Look for Chelsea to bring Chalobah back and possibly make a center back purchase over the summer. Someone like Kyriakos Papadopoulos could form a good partnership with David Luiz and leave our aging Englishmen on the shelf for rotation purposes. However, we all know Terry is the type to take this in stride and rise to a challenge. He’ll be fighting for a place in the starting XI, and he’ll give his all in the dressing room as well. Could make for an interesting season... Remember all the fun stories you’ve read about Lamps this year? It might be time to prepare for round two.

Classification: Captain. Leader. Legitimately not likely to be more than a Valuable Squad Member at this point.

23. Frank Lampard5dc17595292be8d517ee12cb0ba87_medium

ChelseaRDM: One of Wheaties’ favourite players at this club, Frank is our scoringest midfielder, and perhaps one day our scoringest player ever, and he deserves every ounce of respect that Chelsea fans give him. Now for the cold hard facts: He doesn’t quite have what he used to have when he had it all anymore. He did get more than 10 goals every season for the past 10 season, but I’m certain that his prowess in the box (and often outside of it), as well as his legend status, completely skews our perception of his actual value to the club. As a midfielder, his positioning is usually horrible and he can’t defend. He is capable of impossible passes, though, so all is not grim. Call me new fashioned, but I think that Chelsea should cut their losses and allow the legend’s flame to burn out. It would be criminal if he doesn’t get his record, though.

Classification: On their way/ Need to go.

Wheaties: Hope springs eternal. Okay not really. Because Frank, frankly, isn’t immortal. There was a time when I thought he was, but I am naive no longer. Of course, CRDM has given you the "cold hard facts," so I’ll give you warm, fuzzy feelings. Do I think he can still offer value to the team? Aye. Does he have another season in him if we use him more sparingly? Most certainly. Should he be among the highest paid players on the squad? That’s a massive debate, and I don’t know if you can put a price on what it means to fans and players to have him on the team, but he certainly won’t be contributing to play as much as Mata or Hazard, so it’s difficult to justify the wages.* Before I think about his wages going to Radamel Falcao, I try to think about what would’ve happened if we had let Drogba go before last summer (say, to fund the purchase of a certain Spanish striker), and then I try to not think about it at all, because my imagination turns my stomach. I will implore the football gods for just one more year. Lamps leaving trophy-less (or with just a measly Europa League medal) under Rafa "Dickness-Reaching-Madoff-Levels" Benitez? Perish the thought. This man is perhaps our greatest player of all time. Is one more year too much to ask? I say no, and Frank says no. Okay, rant over.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member, or On their Way to LA

*This is the runniest of run-on sentences, sorry. In apology, I offer this video along with the reminder that his greatest triumph was just last season, wearing the armband in Munich.

22. Branislav Ivanovic

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ChelseaRDM: Although he tends to go down a bit easily under the slightest of touches, our balding Serbian is still a vital member of our team. He’s great at filling a lot of sensitive holes in our current team but he isn’t that good at actually playing those positions. In a world where Chelsea has a massively talented player in Azpilicueta and David Luiz and Cahill in defense, playing Ivanovic for as many minutes as he’s been played this season next year under a new manager would be insane. He’s played the most amount of minutes in a Chelsea shirt of anyone in our squad, but he’s made shocking mistakes and, sadly, he’s no longer first choice. He still has a role to play in our team if he’s willing to accept his inevitable downgrade.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

Wheaties: When he isn’t getting bitten by rabid Uruguayans, the Bear has been reasonably solid at the back. When he’s off his A-game though, Bane can single-handedly lose games for us.* I actually have a soft spot for him, and not just because of the times when he’s won epic UCL legs for us. I’m also very proud of my Serbian heritage, and this man has been a stalwart captain for his country. However, as talented as the Russian League record-setting transfer has been, he is no longer number one at any position for our club. I’m not saying he needs to go, but if we’re trying to make money on him, now is the time. We’ll have to see how it goes this summer. If Chelsea bring in a Raphael Varane (please, Uncle Roman, please?), then I think it’d be prudent to show Ivanovic the door and let youth fill in at CB/RB. Of course, Varane will most likely be unavailable, so unless Chelsea decide to follow the hip trend among the EPL’s top teams** and acquire Toby Alderweireld, the Serbian Bear will stay.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member or On their Way

*Exhibit A:

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- via www.abload.de


Exhibit B:

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- via farm9.staticflickr.com

**Belgian CBs: Tottenham - Vertonghen, Arsenal - Vermaelen, Man City - Kompany

21. Ashley Cole

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ChelseaRDM: I’m not very in love with the idea of Ashley Cole being the guy that we’ll entrust the left side of our defense to for the next few years. He’s currently on contract to be at the club for about another year, but even though he’s still a serviceable player, I’m very concerned. He’s an excellent defender, don’t get me wrong, and he hardly makes mistakes, but his pace has declined dramatically (being 32 will do that to a guy). I know that you’ll remind me that, at a point, he was the best left back in the world, but we’re not living in the past and there’s a guy named Luke Shaw, who’s absolutely awesome, to be bought that absolutely loves to colour Blue. I’m not feeling this guy at all, really. If he didn’t cost an arm and a family, I’d be extremely happy but, sadly, he’s on very high wages for a defender. He would be hella useful if he’s open to taking a bench role, but that’s very unlikely to ever happen in any universe that exists or will exist

Classification: On their way/ Need to go.

Wheaties: True, the Colester isn’t what he used to be, but he’s still capable of shutting down a wing when the situation calls for it. Cole has withered in attack as this season has gone on, and my above comments on Ryan Bertrand have already betrayed my thoughts on how the club should respond. For the handful of games that Cole was unavailable during injury, the team performed well with a different LB in the side, and rarely a word of longing for AC3 was heard. I’m glad he got an extra year, but this one should be his last. He’s still a great player, but no longer clearly the world’s best left-back. Out with the old and in with the Bertie.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

20. Ryan Bertrand

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ChelseaRDM: While he’s not quite the most sparkling LB prospect in London (that title belongs to none other than Luke Shaw) and he may not even be the best LB prospect in our team, there is no doubt that you know his name; he famously started in Chelsea’s hour of need when we ushered the German Meanies, Bayern, out of the CL final to claim the holy grail for our own. Despite that, his performances are generally wildly erratic - he can either turn in a stellar performance, like against Manchester United in our FA cup tie or completely stink the place up, like against Shakhtar, when he turned in a horror show. I’ll suspend conviction in my judgment of him until next season. Until then, I’ll deem him as Valuable.

Classification: Valuable Squad Player

Wheaties: I’m a bigger Bertrand fan than I think most of the WAGNH community is. When I saw him working in tandem with Ashley Cole in Munich last year I thought to myself, stars debut in these circumstances, and they are often made or destroyed by how they perform. Granted, we haven’t seen as much of that same spark from that night in Ryan or the team, but I think he’s got what it takes. In my mind, this next season sees Ashley phased out, and Bertie phased in. It may be premature to think so, but that’s what my gut says. He wants to score, he wants to lock out wingers, and I just don’t see that passion from Cole consistently.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

19. Gary Cahill

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ChelseaRDM: I’m not quite sure what I have to say about this guy. He was invaluable last year when Chelsea needed him most, namely over the two legs of the Barca clash, but sometimes he’s as hopeless as an elephant on a unicycle. He’s one of the best English defenders around, but ignoring the meaninglessness of that statement, I think that he’s talented enough to be of value to Chelsea going forward. Plus, he can do this:

LINKY LINK

Classification: Valuable Squad Player

Wheaties: Another tough one. Gaz, as he’s referred to by the boys, has had a wide variety of performances. On the one hand, we’ve seen stalwart displays with some epic, last-ditched blocks. On the other, he’s been responsible for several defensive miscues, and tends to be the follower rather than the leader when part of a back four. With the right guidance, he can comprise a more than adequate half of any pairing, but that’s all I’d be willing to extend him presently. Ideally, Cahill remains a solid rotational option, and Chelsea find Luiz a partner he can rely on more permanently.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

18. Lucas Piazon

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Don’t we all need a little more of this in our lives?

ChelseaRDM: Let the record show that I am never one to EVER shamelessly self-plug, but take a look at a video made painstakingly by the wonderful pianist and humanist and overall beautiful man named Alister Profitt:

LINKY LINK

Yes, Piazon is a very good player for his age, and he has a phenomenal work rate from what I’ve seen in his admittedly limited games for Malaga. He’s only 19, if you’re interested in knowing that, but he plays with the composure of a player that’s at the height of his powers. Because of his lack of playing time and my personality trait which makes me demand extraordinary evidence, I will have to give him a modest classification.

Classification: One for the Future

Wheaties: Piazon is a tough nut to crack. I love the idea of him working with Oscar to cut open defenses, and I think he has that ability. On the other hand, he’s not quite talented enough to be stealing minutes from the likes of Matazacar, and likely won’t be enough to push KDB or Moses for time either. Well shucks, back on loan it is. Normally, I’m gung-ho for our loanees seeing the pitch with other EPL sides, but in this case, I’d actually really like to see Piazon return to Malaga. Pellegrini is a solid manager and seems to like him. Isco might leave and Piazon is only going to get better, so I imagine he’ll be seeing more minutes. He could develop well in La Liga, as he’ll have more room to articulate his style than he would over in England. Whether his destination be Malaga or the Mauritian Premier League, he still needs the time to ripen.

Classification: One for the Future

*And if anyone can do it, it’s Mou.

17. Oriol Romeu148654_medium

Let’s hope he doesn’t look so deer-in-headlights next season.

ChelseaRDM: Oriol is a good player, and can only get better. I’m not quite sure what to make of his 665 minutes for club and country over the last season, but he’s certainly worth taking a second look at. Stylishly bald, he can sport a full head of hair when he pleases and when he grac… (Oh, you want a second look at his footballing abilities? Okay). He’s a good passer and a good runner, but I don’t think he has the same quality that our other prospects in that position have, namely Charly Musonda, Nathan Ake and Chalobah. He’s Spanish, though, so there’s that. Honestly, I think he can become a very good player, but without knowing how he’ll return from his knee injury, I’m going to give him a rather pessimistic rating.

Classification: Necessary Depth

Wheaties: Oh boy. If you just read what I thought about Ramires, I may lose you completely with my next statement: Oriol Romeu could be a key part of our squad next season. If we do not bring in another central midfielder, then our youngest Spaniard could be the piece that decides the team’s ability to challenge for a title. The maintenance of possession, the prevention of counter attacks, and the speed with which we regain possession are all frequently contingent upon the central defensive midfielder. Mikel has been relatively solid this year, but ultimately is not the player we want to rely on for starting attacking moves.* If Romeu can step up to what was expected of him when he joined up with the Blues in 2011, he may just make the difference. If we bring in a world class player for the position (Bastian Schweinsteiger, in my dreams), Romeu should be groomed as his backup. His strengths are suited to the direction of the club, but the question remains: are those strengths strong enough?

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

*He has contributed no more than 3 assists in a season since joining Chelsea, and in my experience, is rarely even the "2nd assist" (i.e. the pass before the assist). The WAGNH article which considered this stat noted as many second assists last season for Mikel as Romeu contributed (the Spaniard in about two-thirds as many appearances).

16. Thorgan HazardThorgan-hazard_2797140_medium

How could you even doubt me?

ChelseaRDM: After reading a wonderful piece by Graham, I was forced to reconsider my appraisal of the young Belgian, who will be conpared to his unfairly divine brother for the rest of his career and life. While I’m neither too thrilled nor unhappy by his presence at the club, it was undoubtedly a good deal to buy him when Hazard was being picked up. Not only would it create an emotional tie to Chelsea for the world-class talent, but we may also be witnessing a powerful partnership in the midfield in a few years as Thorgan continues to develop – perhaps even to the level of his brother. Described by Eden as the better footballer, Thorgan is more creative than his brother from the center of the attack – he can pick out passes with the potency of our little Spaniard Mata instead of possessing the dribbling abilities of his other-worldly brother. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Classification: One for the future

Wheaties: I was part of a very small minority in the WAGNH community that felt a great deal of excitement about the younger Hazard’s arrival. Having exhausted the English resources available for research on Eden, I had begun looking into Thorgan before we announced his purchase. One of my favorite lines I remember reading was a quote from Eden describing his brother as having always been the superior technically-gifted player of the family. Surprised that Thor is stepping out of his brother’s shadow? You shouldn’t be. French youth coach and former Armenian striker Eric Assadourian described the young Belgian as a "technically gifted player who can settle the match by himself with ease," and Thor has lived up to this characterization in his play in the Jupiler league this season. An ambitious loan next season is the way to go, but soon the Dukes of Hazard might be taking the field side by side.

Classification: One for the Future

15. Ramires

Ramires-2010-11-14-12-30-55_medium

Whaa? You kidding me?

ChelseaRDM: I wasn’t too keen on Ramires early in his career as a Chelsea player, especially considering that his first touch is as poor as mine and that he has the technical ability of any defender other than David Luiz. He is, however, a powerhouse in the central role that seems to be his favourite spot on the pitch. He’s a great tackler on some days (though he can turn in some rather piss-poor performances if he pleases) and he always plays with the utmost intensity that makes lookers on think ‘wow, he must really love that f*cking club!’. Rightly dubbed the Blue Kenyan (shockingly before he became a Blue) for his ability to run over 5000km in a 90 minute game and never tire, he’s a great player to have around. Also, he’s Brazilian so, Wheaties Eater, I win.

Classification: Key Player

Wheaties: Okay, brace yourselves. You’re not going to believe what you’re about to read here. If our next manager comes in and deems Rami surplus to requirements, I’ll neither be surprised nor altogether outraged. I may be disappointed that our sprightly Blue Brazilian hasn’t ever been fully integrated and sorry to see him go, but I understand that our current system and style of play hasn’t had a secure place for Ramires, and it’s not wise to try and fit a square peg into a round hole. Players’ careers die out that way, and team performance suffers as well. Rami is a particular type of player, and not one whose gifts are highly-adaptable. His tendencies to commit foolish fouls and play lackluster passes aren’t particularly endearing, and demonstrate a difficulty with sustaining focus. Of course, he also runs other players into the ground, and that quality is supremely valuable for a side intending to maintain a high press. I would love to see us find a system that utilizes him to the fullest,* but my gut tells me that our possession-based chance creation will ultimately make him altogether too one-dimensional to contribute fully. Feel free to disagree; in fact, I hope you prove me wrong. Either way, Ramires should not be a first choice in the holding/defensive role in center midfield, and CFC should be making a purchase this summer.

Classification: Possibly Valuable or On their Way

14. Nathan Aké

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ChelseaRDM: Rightfully rated by the WAGNH community as one of our top 10 prospects, Nathan Aké is a player with massive potential, great temperament and, last but not least, glorious hair. He was brilliant against Middlesbrough and, at only 18 years of age, he's got time on his side. Look forward to seeing a bit more of him next season, either on loan or even at his Mother Club.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

Wheaties: With just a few appearances for the first team this season, Nathan didn't see the minutes he deserved at the level he needs. That being said, his performances were enough to make me feel grateful that we had him in reserve when Ramires, Mikel, and Lamps weren't up to the task. My hope is that the young Dutchman will not be needed for the first team squad next year. With the return of NaCha, the hopeful buy of a top CM to fill in, and the possible implementation of a new system, Mini-Ruud will likely be let out on loan next season.

Classification: Possibly Relevant

13. Demba Ba

Ay_100825627_mediumChelseaRDM: Though he hasn't quite been a success at Chelsea (yet...), Demba Ba's quality should not be underestimated. He hasn't quite been banging it in over the last 4 months (Only bagging 2 goals in the League and 4 in the FA Cup in 16 appearances), but his talent borders on World Class. You heard it, World Class. It should be noted that Demba Ba's general play is actually pretty damn great for a player in his position, constantly pestering the opposition defense with his strength and his physical presence, while making his teammates better by complementing the midgets* right behind him. Next season, look out for him lighting up the league as he integrates into our setup better.

*I'm sorry, little people.

Classification: Key Player

Wheaties: Honestly, I'm excited to see what next season holds in the striking department, especially for Ba. The team looks like it's starting to remember what it's like having a legitimate center forward leading the line, and with Torres' possible departure, Lukaku's return, and maybe a new buy coming in, Ba will only have competition for that role. I have no doubt that he will take that in his stride, and at the very least, push his co-strikers to higher heights. He's got talent, and if he's got strawberry Sirop, then we will see more of this:

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And less of this:

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Now wouldn't that make for a spectacular season?

Classification: Key Player

12. Tomas Kalas

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ChelseaRDM: Mr. Kalas is one of my favourite prospects out on loan and he’s even a specialist in a position where we definitely need some great players, whatever their age. Kalas could become essential to the Chelsea brand as soon as next season if the board is sensible and realize that we possess one of the greatest young talents in the game today – at least one of the great teenage defenders. I’m looking forward to the preseason so I could see what this guy could do under Mourinho (oops).

Classification: Key Player

Wheaties: I’m of the opinion that Kalas represents Ivanovic’s natural successor at Chelsea. A pacy defender with the ability to play inside and out on the right flank, Tomas offers excellent versatility and experience for such a young man. Like the Cole-Bertrand correlation, I hope that our next manager begins phasing the old guard out, and the new faces in. Whilst Azpi should be a lock for RB next season, Kalas could see some serious minutes as his backup, especially since Chelsea have demonstrated they could see 60 games in a season. If the club sees fit to put him back on loan and keep Aké or Omeruo in his stead, I’d be okay with it, but I’d rather have our blonde Czech to rely on. If Ivanovic leaves this summer, Tomas becomes a necessary part of the first team.

Classification: Possibly valuable

11. Petr CechArticle-0-0d6dfb7e000005dc-880_306x424_medium

We’re gonna win the League Cup, and the FA Cup, and the Premiership, and then we’re gonna go all the way to the UCL Final, and were going to become UEFA Champions! Myah!

ChelseaRDM: A legend in his own right, the masked superhero that has occupied Chelsea’s goal for about a decade is rightly heralded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He’s cute and cuddly while fearsome and terrifying (being a picturesque, 6’5’’ guy can have that effect), but Chelsea fans know that he would never hurt a fly. Speaking about swatting annoying little creatures, check out his save against the pesky Mexican that plays for Manchester United

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As you can see, he’s quite a flexible and dapper man. There’s a Belgian, however, that might alter the way Chelsea fans look at the long-term future of the Czech named Cech at our club: Thibaut Courtois. Granted, both of them are amazing players, but considering that Cech is 30, I think it would be best if his long-term future at the club is not too long. I expect him to be at the club for another 2-3 years as the definite number one keeper, but after that, he’ll likely have to take a wage cut and accept fewer minutes or ply his trade at any other top club of his choosing. For now, though, he’s definitely a Key Player for Chelsea FC.

Classification: Key Player

Wheaties: What is there to say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times by sports fans and teenaged girls? Big Pete is 30 going on 25, and has continued to put in consistently strong performances. His shaky moments can be easily written off (by me) as discomfort with what has been an unreliable defensive front for the club this season. With a trustworthy line in front of him, all that goes away. I’m not saying he’s golden for another decade, but I don’t see the cracks others do. My only concern is his tendency to get injured and our veritable lack of a decent backup. Cech will have to demonstrate durability this year if he wants to remain Chelsea’s number one #1 (see what I did there?). He’s only just shy of Indispensable, and only because those Belgians scare me. They’ll come for our jobs next!

Classification: Key Player

10. Victor Moses

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ChelseaRDM: Believe it or not, I’m actually more excited about Moses’ future than Oscar’s. We paid only 9 million pounds for the Nigerian’s services, but he’s been great in his first season, even if his performances have been a bit inconsistent. I was actually very much against the idea of Moses and I severely doubted his influence to the club (especially when I saw his boxers showing under his kit – I thought he was some unkempt ruffian). I’m now much more optimistic about his future. He’s only 22, and most of the Chelsea fans I talk to seem to think he’s destined to be a perennial bench player a la Kalou, but I believe he’s something more than that; it’s no coincidence that Chelsea’s most effective lineup includes Moses playing alongside Mata and Hazard instead of with Oscar. Chelsea has often been criticized of lacking width, but with Moses and Azpi parading down the right flank, that’s no longer a problem.

Classification: Key Player

Wheaties: I hate to pigeonhole him this early in his career, but I think Victor Moses is the club’s replacement for Salomon Kalou. Sure, Moses’ play may be a bit more direct, and he may not be as cute and cuddly, but the Nigerian-born winger has shown a propensity for goal poaching that reminds one of Kalounho. Moreover, his pace and intensity makes him an ideal "super sub." While there is still much to be done in terms of developing the relatively raw talents of Moses, he is gifted enough to be a regular contributor for years to come. If the club brings in someone like Schurrle, Moses will almost certainly be set for a bench role for most of the season.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

9. Nathaniel Chalobah

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ChelseaRDM: I don’t know too much about our highly acclaimed Defensive player, but if everyone else is to be trusted, he’s insanely talented. If you didn’t know, he’s 18 years old, which makes me feel rather useless in comparison, being the same age, but ignoring the thunderstorm of emotional energy within my complicated but simple psyche, Youtube scouting has lead me to the conclusion that he’s going to be as valuable to Chelsea as Yaya was to Barca and is to City. Think about it: Chelsea, armed with Mazacar, with the beastly LUKAKU running rampant at the helm of the Blues’ attacking quadfecta, our opponents will have to deal with the prospect that a player in a supposedly defensive position can simultaneously break down their attacks and do this:

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or this:

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Yes. He’s pretty good. Pretty good indeed.

Classification: ABSOLUTELY INDISPENSIBLE

Wheaties: The Force is strong with this one. I confess I wasn’t taken with Chalobah at first, and I still do think the boy is just a tad bit overrated.* However, his composure is such an important quality that I haven’t seen as consistently from Oriol Romeu. Add in his ability to fill in at the back, and you’ve got a player that could (and should) see a fair amount of time on the pitch for the Chels next season. Here’s hoping he realizes his full potential, because if he does, odds are he’ll have Rami and Mikel looking over their shoulders. Of course, I’d hate to see him buried behind Romeu, Mikel, Ramires, and the CBs... I’ll be optimistic about this one, as I know you all are.

Classification: Valuable Squad Member

*Looking forward to your flabbergasted comments!

8. Cesar AzpilicuetaCesar-azpilicueta-chelsea-premier-league-swan_2887845_medium

ChelseaRDM: I'm still bewildered by the sheer distance that right backs (and left backs) run, and Azpilicueta is, fortunately, more of the same. Though his form was a bit patchy at the start of the season, he's transformed into an ultra-reliable player on the right-side, though his crosses might not always impress. He's a terrific defensive player as well, usually mopping up where his forward-playing teammates fudge up. He even shores up the left side of the field when Cole or Bertrand are out of position. Best of all, he can only get better, and he'll definitely become one of the best Right Backs in England. Right-back storm or not at Chelsea, he's gonna be playing.

Classification: Key Player

Wheaties: This is an easy one. Ivanovic may not yet be on his last legs, but the Spaniard's performances since joining up with the Blues have proved to this writer that he should be first on the squad sheet at right back. Throw in some translator skills and a winning smile, and you can see why "Dave" has become an instant hit at CFC.

Classification: Key Player

7. Kevin De Bruyne

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ChelseaRDM: The Belgian that has convinced me the least has been Kevin de Bruyne. No problems, though. He's still one of the only players at the club that I'm really excited about (I mean REALLY excited about) and for good reason. Popularly known around the world as the 'Pink Mamba', Kevin de Bruyne has vastly improved his passing, shotting and overall game in the last year while on loan at Werder Bremen, where he literally cannot be rested because of his sheer importance. A lot of people have compared him to Zidane, and I'm actually in agreement with those people: He has an absolutely great range of passing, his footwork is very, very good and he's balding (Okay, maybe the last one isn't true). Very bright things are in this guy's future if he continues to play in the same way that he has for the past 9 months or so.

Classification: ABSOLUTELY INDISPENSIBLE

Wheaties: I once wrote an entire post called, "Kevin De Bruyne: The Answer." I never published it, partially because in truth there is no single solution to Chelsea’s woes this season, and partially because I didn’t want to jinx it. The young Belgian’s ability to open up play and send off counter attacks with inch-perfect* long balls would have been quite useful to the boys in blue this season; all too often, the club lacked this quality in key moments. If next season is Frank-less, KDB could be a regular contributor. Having him in the same side with pacy wingers like Eden and Victor is a mouth-watering thought. In fact, I need to stop writing this right now to go get a napkin for my drool.

Classification: Key Player

*Or centimeter-perfect, as the case may be.

6. Romelu Lukaku

Romelu-lukaku_medium

"The day I play here will be the single time in my life that my parents at home will see me cry. Otherwise, never. Only if I play here."

"Romelu, we are heading to the press room, are you coming?"

(A silent Lukaku nods, only half hearing his teacher.)

"You can dream about all this later," the teacher says, smiling.

"Dreaming? I am not dreaming; I will play here someday, you’ll see."

ChelseaRDM: If you haven’t seen him before, you should. If you have seen him before, you know that you cannot look at him for too long, for his countenance will melt you with the intensity of a million supernovas. Yes, Lukaku isn’t quite normal for his age, nor is he an average player of average technical ability. Lukaku is simply a beast in every sense of the word and every one of our rivals should be collectively sh*tting themselves by simply pondering the prospect of a Chelsea team with Mourinho as coach, Mazacar as suppliers and THE KRAKEN leading the charge. Damn.

Classification: ABSOULTELY INDISPENSIBLE

Wheaties: Mama didn’t raise no fool, so I’m wise enough to know that Mrs. Lukaku didn’t raise no scrub neither. The Kraken may just be the ideal young talent. Footballing pedigree, incredible physical gifts, passion for the club, a hard-working attitude, and a charming personality. Give this kid the 9, I want to buy his kit already. The sky is the limit for young Romelu, who may just be one who’ll live up to his label ("the next Drogba"). He’ll never mean as much to a continent, but if he leaves half the legacy his predecessor did, I’d call that a win (or approximately 150 of them). Mark my words, he’ll be one to watch next season, with the potential to earn the starting role. It’s strange to give this status to a player with next to zero first team minutes for Chelsea but I think that next season he’ll be a...

Classification: Key Player

5. Thibaut Courtois

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Two for one, boys.

ChelseaRDM: Now for the guy that will inevitably replace Petr Cech: Thibaut Courtois. He’s been excellent over the past year and a half, playing against quality opposition on a regular basis while on loan at top side Atletico Madrid. This season, he’s managed to keep 15 clean sheets in the 28 games he’s started in La Liga. He’s being paraded as the best keeper Spain – whether that’s true or not is unsure to me. He is, though, an extremely talented Goalkeeper, whose towering 6’6" frame ensures that even the best strikers in the world are given a very hard time. He’s so good, fans in Spain have started a new craze, modeled after his crazy, acrobatic saves that they’ve become so accustomed to: "Thibauting". His current coach, Diego Simeone, is very keen on keeping him at the club, and for very good reason, saying: "He is a great keeper, young with a future, but also with a present. The best for the team would be for him to stay."

Classification: ABSOLUTELY INDISPENSIBLE

Wheaties: If I was a betting man, I would put money on Courtois seeing another year out on loan. Cech has been a brick wall for most of the season, and as I mentioned in his section above, seeing a more consistent back four really ought to help elevate him back to demi-god status. He’s got another year (maybe two) before his injury tendencies become an issue that must be addressed by handing over the goal to Courtois. Of course, the last time the Special One was here, he let the young and old talent duke it out, and he favored the young, so who knows. However, I think this is a decision that’s already been made by the club’s higher-ups.

Classification: One for the Future

4. Oscar

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I couldn’t resist using this one again. Lols abound.

ChelseaRDM: I'm one of the least excited persons about Oscar's future among Chelsea fans, but even I can realize that this guy is a special talent and a potentially legendary player. Why am I unexcited and unfazed by this, you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you: In his first season at Chelsea, he’s been played an extraordinary amount of minutes in an inordinate amount of games which, when considering that he looks like he eats with 12 year olds, is a monstrous feat. Thing is, though, this hasn’t been a great season. Granted, he was very, very impressive at the start of the season when we were in the premier European competition and he was playing peekaboo with Juventus legend Buffon, but his form has been horrible lately and he’s never played with the same prowess for Chelsea as he has for his mother country. He’s very talented and skilled, but he’s not that quick and he certainly has a lower ceiling than Hazard in my opinion. I think he’ll be a great player, but he’ll never be truly indispensable at the club.

Classification: Key Player

Wheaties: People have carried on a debate about Oscar’s best position for months now. I’m one of those that believes he can fit into a deep-lying playmaker role very comfortably, with some time. He has all of the tools needed: defensive awareness, vision, good control, and sharpness in his passing. One thing I’d like to see him work on is his pre-emptive positioning, as he hasn’t proven that he can sense when he ought to be the one preventing a possible counter. To me, Oscar’s at his best when he’s allowed to pull the strings and float freely in the middle of the park. His link-up play with Matazard is splendid, but there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t do that just as effectively if he started with the ball deep, driving an attack. I want to say that’d probably be even more effective. Of course, depending on the opponent, it may not be wise to play a DLP in some situations. These cases would mostly be against some of our stiffer opposition in England; however, Oscar thrives on European football because his style of play revolves around fluidity and driving an attack from deep. Don’t believe me? Watch highlights of his time pre-Chelsea, especially with his nation’s Olympic team. If used correctly, the Brazilian playmaker will be one of the greatest influencers of the game; I have no doubt about it. If not, he’ll be a serviceable attacking midfielder with sparkling moments of magic, but his true talent will go wasted.

Classification: Key Player on the verge of becoming Absolutely Indispensable

3. David Luiz

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Ambassador of Peace.

ChelseaRDM: Quickly becoming one of my favourite players in football today, this guy is the most likable fella in a game full of thugs, cheats and cretins (that we somehow support! Yay!). He’s always been one of my more favourite players at the club, but he’s recently catapulted himself into the strata of Mata and Hazard in my psyche as perhaps the Blue I like the most. After getting brutally stabbed in the ass by Aguero, for instance, he kept his cool and even apologized for his Argentine friend/enemy. He also hosts excellent birthday parties, wields great hair and cranks out the wonder goals for fun. Look forward to having this crazy guy as your captain. You’ve deserved it, Chelsea fans. In fact, we don't deserve him. Nobody does.

Classification: ABSOULTELY INDISPENSIBLE

Wheaties: Who doesn’t love David Luiz? While the Brazilian started this season like the last, recklessly flying into tackles and impulsively driving forward to lose possession far out of position, his flaws have slowly but surely shrunk to more acceptable levels. If he continues his development like this, he’s sure to become one of the best center backs in the world. Couple his on-field progression with his on-and-off-the-pitch persona, and you’ve got a future captain on your hands. I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last. Hopefully, our next manager takes DL unders his wing as a personal project; with the right guidance, everybody’s favorite Brazilian could make Stamford Bridge a fortress once more. On a side note, with his recent performances as a DM, I think he may have a future there. It wouldn’t hurt to have his goal threat further up the pitch, and it would limit the liability of his perpetual desire to get forward. I know not everyone agrees with that, but there you have it. Anyway, it’s really up to the next Mounager, and what the club decides to do about bringing in help for CB or CDM. Personally, I would love to see and Oscar-Luiz pivot, and for more on that, check out the Oscar bit.

Classification: Absolutely Indispensable


2. Juan Mata

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ChelseaRDM: He is a god. No words, for even if I exhibit the linguistic perspicacity of the greatest literary stylists of the past 3 millennia combined, I will disappoint. Just bask in it.

Classification: Spanish GOD

Wheaties: The Talent Mr. Mata has already been nominated to the PFA Player of the Year shortlist twice in his first two seasons. While Man United’s umpteenth title will surely gift the award to Robin van Pussy, Juan’s inclusion despite Chelsea’s relatively poor results in the league says it all. The Spanish dynamo has been the first name on the team sheet under, RDM, AVB, and FSW, and don’t expect that to change anytime soon, no matter what initials are on the manager’s jacket.

Classification: ABSOLUTELY Indispensable

1. Eden Hazard

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ChelseaRDM: Now we come to the player who I consider to be the greatest of them all: Eden Hazard. A goofy assassin in his own right, the Belgian has turned heads and, for the most part, lived up to his lofty price-tag, considering that it’s his first season in London. Compared to our other legendary player, Juan Mata, he’s actually done better in his first season that the talismanic Spaniard, scoring 8 goals and delivering 8 assists in the league. In many regards, he reminds me of legends of past and the best players around today: he can rival Messi in dribbling and pull off the spectacular with apparent ease like Zidane. If I was to critique his game, I would say that his concentration needs to improve, a deficiency that I believe prevents him from dazzling with consistency, but other than that, he’s looking like the real deal. He’s recently found a particularly rich vein of form, which disallows his quality from being doubted by even the Manchester clubs’ fans. Getting 5 MOTM awards in his first season with a new team in a completely new culture is incredible. He’s unlucky not to get to contend properly in the Champions League this year, but I’m certain that the situation will be remedied soon. In the meantime, take time out to enjoy the unadulterated Hazard. I know I’ll receive some flak for not regarding Mata as our least dispensable player at the club, but with the combination of speed, skill and intelligence that Hazard has, his place at the top can hardly be in doubt in my mind. For me, he’s already one of the top 3 younger players in the football world today. For me, he’ll be the greatest Chelsea player ever – if he stays.

Classification: BELGIAN GOD

Wheaties: Chelsea took a huge risk signing him for the season that we’d wear gold on our kits, because I’ve come very close to worshipping this golden idol more than a few times this year (cue the rimshot). My heart leapt during the Swansea "ball boy-kicking" game, because before the sending off, you could really see Eden’s passion. My concern since, was that his desire for the win was not motivated by a love for the club, but by a hunger for trophies. While "Le Serpent" has only been with the team for a season, if he doesn’t come to love the badge, my fear is that he’ll be headed to Real Madrid when his contract nears its completion. Let’s hope I’m wrong, because while Hazard has been not-so-unfairly likened to Zidane. Although I think his low center of gravity, magic and magnetic touch on the ball, and utterly sublime finishing powers beg the comparison to Maradona, let’s be honest: neither parallel is unflattering.

Classification: Absolutely Indispensable

So that there is our list, ordered from least important to the future of our club to the most critical player we need to keep, by any means necessary. We hope you liked this article, as we took special precautions to make it as unobjectionable as possible for the sake of the fainthearted.

If you like this article, please Rec. If you don’t like this article, please tell ChelseaRDM why. If you want to report a grammatical problem, please comment – CRDM’s never offended as he’s an Apathetic Solipsist. Thank you for reading if you got this far.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any sort of approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions held by the editors of this site.

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